Elizabeth Arden Taps Goodby for Fragrance Launch

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is set to crack the cosmetics category after landing a project from Elizabeth Arden.

The San Francisco agency bested at least one undisclosed New York shop to land creative duties for the launch of a fragrance that will be associated with Elizabeth Taylor.

Billings are undisclosed, but the New York-based client has spent $3-5 million on similar fragrance lines, according to CMR.

The pitch, which began late last summer, was handled by Goodby’s only all-female creative team: senior art director Margaret Johnson and senior copywriter Mimi Cook. Since winning the business, the duo has begun testing campaign concepts in New York, Dallas and Sacramento, Calif. Part of the assignment is to select a name for the fragrance. White Diamonds and Passion are the other Taylor-branded products.

The launch will include three national TV spots and magazine ads, said Cook. A timetable for the debut has not been finalized, but sources said it is likely to be in the fall.

Earlier in her career, Cook worked on Levi’s for women at Foote, Cone & Belding and Clinique at the former Hal Riney & Partners. Johnson worked on Goodby’s print work for Nike’s women’s apparel.

“This agency has always wanted to get more involved in fashion advertising,” said Cook. She said Elizabeth Arden executives approached the shop about the new product and “we had good chemistry right from the start.”

Elizabeth Arden spent $8.4 million on ads for women’s fragrances during the first 10 months of 2001, down from $21 million in 2000, per CMR. Company officials said White Diamonds was its most successful fragrance launch and is one of the top-selling fragrance brands in the U.S.

In January 2001, Unilever sold the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and fragrances businesses to FFI Fragrances. In the last year, sales of medium-priced fragrances such as the Elizabeth Taylor lines have remained stable. More upscale fragrances have been hit hard.

Initiative Media, New York, handles national TV buying duties.